Alfriston

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MARTIUS: Long before he was known as a warmonger, Mars was a fertility and agricultural deity hence March became the first month of the Roman calendar, overseeing the explosive new growth and life of spring. The village itself is coming alive this month with plenty of events and dates for the diary. There is enough here to last a lifetime as a famous Sussex Downsman once said.

ENGLANDS MOUNTAIN GREEN: Talking of downsmen, the South Downs are popping up on national TV a lot, there are so many stories to tell. Last week Peter Owen Jones took us through a year in our national park, still available on catch up BBC4 if you missed it. Our blunt bow-headed, whale backed downs will feature on Countryfile this Sunday as will Charleston, ponies and shepherds. We shall be watching just to make sure the shepherd hasn’t ended up on the cutting room floor. Thank you to The Reformery for the wonderful beard spa and trim to make him camera ready.

TRUMPETING THE ARRIVAL OF SPRING: Daffodils are everywhere. They look so beautiful lined up against the flint walls nowhere more so than edging the croquet lawn at Deans Place. Lovely photographs taken by villagers of the evidence of spring have been popping up all over the web. A vase of daffodils on the table always makes me smile and Alfriston Arts sell them, amongst other flowers, so I don’t need to raid my garden. No one can make flowers ugly, says Sherry Ward and invites those who would like to learn some basic skills and have a few hours to spare to join the Flower Guild and keep St Andrews full of floral loveliness. The Flower Guild will next meet for Afternoon Tea and floral talk at 3pm on March 15, call 870478 to book your scone.

CLERGY HOUSE REOPENS: Following a lot of frantic activity to spruce the house and gardens up over the winter break the House will reopen tomorrow, Saturday, 10.30am to 5pm. They have an exciting new room and a fabulous programme of talks, tours and walks planned. More of that next week. Why not beat the crowds and visit this weekend.

SPRIG OF VIBRANCE FROM THE FAR EAST: The Rosemary Room will be popping up again at The Old Chapel Centre on Sunday March 19 between 7pm and 9pm. The Rosemary Room is a gourmet 100 percent plant based monthly pop up restaurant. Each time it pops up it raises funds for animal charities and causes. Charity of the night will be Bird Aid. There will be live music from JC Schutz performing with guitar and Cavaquinho. Most importantly there will be a divine sounding indulgent chocolate hazelnut cheesecake with a tantalising drop of pomegranate sauce….count me in. Booking in advance only contact info@rosemaryroom.co.uk or visit their website www.rosemaryroom.co.uk

TIME FOR A CUPPA: The first day of March is national ‘Time for a Cuppa day’. There seems to be a national day for everything from Marmite to gin to bed but this is a day I can get involved in (not that I have a problem with the other three). March brings a number of opportunities to indulge in a beverage. The Coffee Circle will restart on Wednesday between 10am and noon in The Old Chapel Centre, where once again old friends will meet up after the winter’s hibernation and new friends will be made. It is a lovely sociable morning and all are welcome.

BEETLE DRIVE: If you have never played Beetle before why not join the WI in the warmth of The Old Chapel Centre on Thursday between 2.30pm and 4.30pm. Full instruction will thankfully be given and there will be a prize for the winner. Your £5 ticket does include tea and an exceedingly good piece of cake. Limited tickets are available from Hicks Newsagents.

ALFRISTON PRE-SCHOOL: Have been very busy and they are looking forward to starting their weekly visits to their very own forest where the children spend the morning exploring and learning in a calm safe environment with natural resources. They love building dens and making mud pies in the mud kitchen. The pre school are arranging an Easter Egg hunt in Friston Forest, Thursday April 6, 11am to 2pm. Why not put the date in your diary and join them. Real chocolate guaranteed.

ST ANDREWS NEEDS YOU: To inspire visitors and share knowledge about the history, architecture and special nature of the Cathedral of The Downs between Easter and late Summer. Local historian Kevin Gordon will be leading two training sessions which will be fun and informative and give you all the knowledge needed to inspire visitors. The dates for the training have been released and are Wednesday March 29 and Wednesday April 5 at 2pm. If you would like to find out more, sign up or join the training contact the rector cuckmererector@hotmail.co.uk or 01323 871725, and yes I am reliably informed by the Cuckmere News you will get a badge.

WITH SPRING COMES CLEANING: If you love to polish and find that you have time to do more of it, the lovely band of church cleaners have a few gaps in their rota and would love to hear from you. There is no heavy work involved

SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND: Tonight, Friday, Guido and The Hellcats, Rockabilly trio will return to The Smugglers. Same Guido different Hellcats but still guaranteed jumping about and foot stomping fun.

THE WEEK AHEAD: Or dates for your diary if you haven’t already put them in. Monday, Sussex Ox Quiz night 8pm, entry £1 per person, beef stew and a pint just £9.95; Wednesday, first Lent Talk. Old Chapel Centre 7pm for 7.45 including a simple meal. Free but donations welcome, book norman.sherry@btinternet.com; Thursday, Smugglers Charity Quiz Night. For more information call 870241. Thursday, Walter Benjamin evening, The Barn at Much Ado. £10 call for further information 871222.

FINALLY: Congratulations once again to Michael Sutherland, Sussex Young Chef of the year who was featured in the front page of The Sussex Express last week. He and his food can be found at The Star Inn.

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